Is prostitution legal in India?

The concept of prostitution has existed in India since ancient times, but the role and definitions kept changing from time to time as the situation changed. Prostitution is the profession which is not accepted in the civilized society, yet it exists in the society. In this article, we will discuss the legal aspects of prostitution in India, how people view it today, and the directions of the Supreme Court. concerning the legal aspects of prostitution in India.

What is prostitution?

Prostitution is a practice or business in which people participate in sexual behavior in exchange for money, and a prostitute is someone who works in this field. Prostitution takes many forms, and its legal position varies from country to country and even from region to region of a country, ranging from a confirmed or unenforced crime, to an unregulated vocation, to a guided vocation.

Male prostitution in the 21st century

Previously, only women were considered prostitutes and men were their clients; but now the situation is a bit different where, in the 21st century, men, women and transgender people are all participating in this industry. According to an investigative report by a news agency, the number of male prostitutes in India is increasing rapidly. When there are no female clients, it is also indicated that sex is sold to male clients. Gigolo refers to male prostitutes.

What are the main causes of prostitution?

There are a variety of circumstances that lead a woman to engage in the sex trade, with inequality and poverty being one of the most prominent.

Women in remote areas are notorious for falling prey to unscrupulous brokers who promise them excellent job options after selling them as trafficked women.

Poverty is the main motivation for needy and disadvantaged women to turn to prostitution.

It is widely accepted that, of all the aspects that influence prostitution, poverty is the main one that pushes people into prostitution.

About 6% of female victims of rape become prostitutes

There are many, many examples of rape survivors falling victim to society blaming women for rape.

Now the question arises whether prostitution is legal in India or not? When it comes to defining the legal aspects of prostitution, the countries of the world are divided into three categories in which India is the country where prostitution is legal with certain limitations.

In India, certain legal rights are granted to prostitutes

Prostitution is not strictly illegal in the Indian context as it is not specifically stated that it is prosecutable, but under the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, a few activities related to prostitution, such as attempted brothel-running, propositioning, smuggling, and prostitution are all subject to prosecution. crimes in India.

A person engaged in pimping or solicitation is punishable by law, but if a person receives money in exchange for sex with their consent, it might not be illegal in India.

Laws and Constraints of Prostitution in India

  • Immoral Traffic Act 1956: Section 2(F) of the Immoral Traffic Act 1956 defines prostitution as the sexual abuse or exploitation of any person for commercial purposes.
  • Articles 372 and 373 of the IPC 1860 also has a link with prostitution, but it is limited to child prostitution only.
  • Sections 366A, 366B, 370A of the IPC provides for the punishment of those concerned with the crime of importing a girl from abroad for the purpose of exploitation and sexual relations.

Why is prostitution practiced in secret even though it is legal?

The ITPA of 1956 is a law that prohibits prostitution. This law makes it illegal to practice certain activities related to prostitution.

  • Section 3 of the ITPA provides penalties for brothels
  • Section 4 provides a penalty for the person who earns from prostitution
  • Article 5 provides for action against a person who takes a person to begin prostitution
  • Article 6 punishes the person who brings a sex worker to the place where prostitution is practiced
  • Article 7 restricts the practice of prostitution in public places
  • Article 8 provides penalties for sex workers who seduce or invite someone into prostitution.

At the end

Prostitution has been present in our society for a very long time. There are many who want to pay for sexual pleasure, and there are also too many who are willing to do sex for money. There are many more advantages to regularizing and legalizing prostitution than not legalizing it. Prostitution has been around for centuries, and I don’t think it will be removed or erased from society anytime soon. Our history and our experience teach us that it will persist no matter how strict the rules adopted.

How will legalizing prostitution benefit society and sex workers?

Accepting or denying prostitution depends on our ethics. There are many countries that have legalized prostitution. Here are some of the benefits of legalizing prostitution:

  • Traffic will be reduced
  • The condition of sex workers will improve
  • Reduction in rape cases
  • The number of minors involved in prostitution will decrease
  • Sex workers will have the right to choose who they want to provide their services to

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